Nixon, Reagan libraries offer Presidents Day events

Admission will be free today for Presidents Day at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda, while the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley will mark the holiday with a free set of activities.

The Nixon Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the first 100 guests receiving a free slice of cherry pie. Actors portraying presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln will be available for pictures throughout the day.

Four members of Nixon's White House staff will participate in a panel discussion from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on "The Effective Use of the President's Time."

The panelists are Steve Bull, a former assistant to the president, Dwight Chapin, former senior assistant to the president, Larry Higby, former assistant to the White House chief of staff, and Ronald H. Walker, first head of the White House Office of Presidential Advance.

More information on the Nixon Library is available by calling (714) 993-5075 or on its Web site, www.NixonLibrary.gov.

The Reagan Library will conduct its 18th annual Presidents Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with presidential storytelling by presidential and first lady lookalikes, crafts and activities including designing your own Lincoln penny, making a tri-corner colonial hat, playing presidential bingo and a scavenger hunt.

Music will be played by Los Cerritos Instrumental Music, the Thousand Oaks High School Band and Ira Nepus Jazz Band.

More information on the Reagan Library is available by calling (800) 410-8354 or on its Web site, www.ReaganLibrary.com.

Although commonly known as Presidents Day, the Monday holiday is still legally Washington's Birthday.

The holiday was shifted from Feb. 22 to the third Monday in February 1971 under the terms of the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill of 1968. Because the holiday falls between Feb. 15 and 21, it can never fall on the actual anniversary of Washington's birth in 1732.

The term Presidents Day began being popularized in the 1980s, when retailers combined sales formerly held in conjunction with Washington and Lincoln's birthdays.

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